(Published on February 28th, 2016)
Saturday, February 27th, 2016. The show that many people have been anticipating for weeks since the news dropped. The show being The Sumerian Records 10 Year Anniversary tour featuring Born of Osiris, Veil of Maya, After the Burial, Erra and new Sumerian signees Bad Omens as the opening act. For sometime now, Sumerian has been on my radar with the albums they have been dropping on the past few months leading up to this show. One of them being the new album that After the Burial dropped titled Dig Deep after the passing of guitarist Justin Lowe. The show of course was going to sell out so I had myself and my homeboy grab tickets real quick because we were about to get lit that night with the poppin’ bands that are killing it out there right now.
Once I got to Gramercy Theatre, I missed the first few minutes of Bad Omens set but I can hear what was being played on stage from outside. But I managed to catch the first single they released called Glass Houses which I thought was so-so when they released it off their new album coming out soon. But I really was looking forward to seeing the rest of the lineup that night beginning with Erra with new vocalist JT Cavey (ex-Texas In July). Even though I never really caught Texas In July live with JT on vocals but with Erra, he did not disappoint. Definitely put his own twist on the past songs and lyrics that the past Erra vocalists wrote and guitarist/clean vocalist Jesse Cash’s vocals didn’t let down either. The setlist was a good mix of songs from their discography even though they only played six songs including a new song off their upcoming album titled Drift. During their set, they had a good reaction and a mini pit due to the venue being packed to the fullest with not a lot of room as the show was completely sold out.
Setlist: Alpha Seed, Rebirth, Drift, Luminesce, Seven, Hybrid Earth.
After the Burial was next up and I have people telling me that they should’ve headlined the tour in general. Their set definitely had the packed house going fucking nuts ever since the first few notes of the song Lost in the Static were being played. And when I say ATB had the crowd going crazy, I’m being dead serious. Even after Justin Lowe’s tragic passing, the band went on without missing a step with lots of energy and enthusiasm with a five-song set. In the middle of the set, vocalist Anthony Notarmaso thanked the fans for motivating the band to keep going after the past year and the fans in the middle held up a white banner with Justin’s name on it and the crowd were chanting his name and the energy fed off each other back and forth. Justin would definitely be proud of his friends on stage. After the band finished the set, “ATB” chants definitely echoed throughout the venue as to why the fans really wanted them to headline the show despite Born of Osiris being the more experienced band. But overall, After the Burial set was lit to the max and had people talking.
Setlist: Lost in the Static, Berzerker, Aspiration, Collapse, A Wolf Amongst Ravens.
Last time I saw Veil of Maya live on stage was at Webster Hall on the Summer Slaughter Tour last year but I didn’t stick around for the whole set as I was bouncing back and forth from the All-Stars Tour. This time I definitely had no reason to do so as Veil of Maya did their thing and anything they did was worth watching. Most of the songs of their set were off their latest album Matriarch, which I reviewed in my first blog talking about my favorite albums of 2015, with a couple of old tracks thrown in. Vocalist Lukas Magyar sounded good even though he does both throat vocals and clean vocals and of course most vocalists these days can’t really pull off doing both as they can’t really balance both during live performances but he definitely held his own and never let down. Guitarist Marc Okobu and bassist Danny Hauser were the most energetic and drummer Sam Applebaum being the tight drummer he is really brought on the energy and the songs definitely sounded like the CD. But of course, the spoken word section of the song Punisher had the crowd echoing it throughout the venue and had the pit going but not compared to how After the Burial had the pit going. Overall, Veil of Maya put on a good show and was happy to hang out with the homie Marc afterwards and catch up on the last time we were at the bar. Lol.
Setlist: Nyu, Leeloo, Ellie, Lucy, Mikasa, Punisher, Unbreakable, It’s Not Safe to Swim Today, Phoenix, Three-Fifty, Aeris.
Born of Osiris were the headliners of the tour and they put on a pretty good show. Some of the songs during the set had the crowd screaming the words back to them but overall the crowd even if they had some energy didn’t live up to After the Burial’s energy as to why I have people saying that After the Burial headline the tour instead of them. Seeing the setlist afterwards made me fortunate they played songs off the full length EP The New Reign because The New Reign was the very first music I bought from Born of Osiris back in 2007 when they first started blowing up. Didn’t recognize most of the songs during the set due to the laziness of remembering song titles off of their discography, which I admit and also the band never really announced what songs were next in the set. I will continue to listen to their music when I make my iTunes Genius playlists. Most of the set had me looking at BOO like if they were another version of Volumes because of the keyboardist getting off the keys to perform backing screams like if BOO was a dual vocalist band. They did play Follow the Signs before the end of their set which was good enough for me. If only Jason Richardson was still in the band.
Setlist (courtesy of Setlist.fm): The Other Half of Me, The Sleeping and the Dead, Exhilarate, Illusionist, Open Arms to Damnation, Empires Erased, Resilience, Goddess of the Dawn, Throw Me in the Jungle, Divergency, Abstract Art, Bow Down, Machine, Illuminate, Follow the Signs. Encore song: Recreate.
My overall rating of the show after much thought stands at a 8.5 out of 10. Bad Omens even though most of their set I missed, being a new band and represented the new blood of Sumerian didn’t really get the crowd going as much as Erra, Veil of Maya, After the Burial and Born of Osiris did. After the Burial after their set that night definitely had me looking forward to their next headlining tour in the states whenever that may be happening because peeps will be having the Dig Deep album on repeat throughout the year of 2016, as will I. The Sumerian Records 10 Year Tour was truly the start of what I look forward to musically in 2016 when it comes to live shows in general or what albums the bands will be releasing on the label. Salute to Ash Avildsen and all at Sumerian Records!